I didn’t soak my fruits for the Christmas cake 3 months back although I did buy a batch of figs, raisins and apricots that I can’t seem to find now. I didn’t make Christmas-tree shaped sugar cookies with royal icing. I most certainly didn’t make a gingerbread house. I am not very good at this blogging thing. I am sure many of you are violently nodding your heads at this point now. I’ve always had a hard time keeping up, getting along, doing the ‘in’ thing and having conversations with my kids friends’ mommies. And I am just plain busy. Plain busy as in “Plain-busy”, not “fun-busy” with all the parties I have to go to, not “brag worthy-busy” with my yoga classes and marathon runs, never “socially busy” with all the friends I catch up with. I am plain busy giving my kids a bath, going to work, coming back, picking up their toys, cooking, cleaning, renewing insurance premiums, paying bills, searching for the TV remote, surfing channels hoping for a movie (a good one), ordering serial lights and sizzler plates online and battling with customer care for my undelivered items. “Thoo” – Did someone say? Some may call this lazy. I call it plain busy.
Strangely (or not) last year too when the blogging world was bursting with cookies, fruitcakes, cinnamon rolls and festive goodies, my blog was there with a Rava Kichadi. Again I am wrapping up the year with this Thinai Kichadi. What a coincidence!! There is definitely some sign here.
That my blog will always stand out, be timeless and different
2. That my blog will never be current and happening
No voting on what sign it is! Please desist from calling out what sign you think it is. I’d like to think it is 1 and continue blissfully.
This Thinai packet that my Maamiyaar brought home from an organic store, spent the first 3 months in a basket at the bottom of the kitchen cupboard. Then my Maamiyaar made a Thinai upma with some of it and the packet that I so thoughtfully fastened with a rubber band moved to the middle shelf and sat amidst the dal and rava jars for 2 more months and got tossed around everytime we took out the dal or rava. One day I decided I wanted to do away with the Thinai packet in a tasty, nice way that is. The Thinai upma that we ate earlier was slightly on the chewier side and had quite a strong nutty flavour. So I made this Thinai kichadi in a pressure cooker, toasted the thinai, threw in some carrot, green beans, potatoes and peas along with slit green chillies and freshly ground ginger and garlic for some spice and kick. The Thinai Kichadi was soft, well cooked and flavourful with just a hint of the nuttiness. Hasini loved it.
Scour out your thinai too (if you are like me and have forgotten groceries all over the kitchen) and make this kichadi for breakfast.
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Thinai/Foxtail Millet – 1-1/2 cups
Onion – 1 large chopped fine
Tomato – 1 large chopped fine
Chopped vegetables – 2 cups (carrot, beans, 1 potato, green peas)
Ginger garlic paste – 1-1/2 tsp
Green chillies – 3-4 slit lengthwise
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Water – 5 to 5-1/2 cups
Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
Cloves – 3
Bay leaf – 1
Oil – 2 tsp
Ghee – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves – a handful chopped for garnishing
Heat a pressure cooker. Dry roast the thinai for 3-4 minutes on low heat. Remove on to a plate.
Add oil and ghee to the pressure cooker. When hot, add the cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf. When fragrant, throw in the chopped onions and sauté till the onions turn translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a couple of minutes, scraping the bottom of the cooker to make sure the ginger garlic paste doesn’t stick to the bottom of the cooker. Add in the chopped tomatoes and slit green chillies and sauté for 2-3 minutes or till the tomatoes soften.
Add turmeric powder and pour in the water. Add salt, taste the water and adjust seasoning. Let the water come to a boil.
When the water is boiling, slowly stir in the roasted thinai and mix well. Cover with the pressure cooker lid. When steam escapes, plug in the weight and lower heat to minimum. Cook for about 12-14 minutes. Switch off.
When the pressure subsides, open the lid slowly. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and fluff up with a fork. Serve hot with coconut chutney.